Every month, streaming services add movies and TV shows to its library. Here are our picks for some of December’s most promising new titles.
Send any friend a story
As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.
(Note: Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice. For more recommendations on what to stream, sign up for our Watching newsletter here.)
Starts streaming: Dec. 3
In “The Rescue,” the documentary filmmaking team of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin — who won an Oscar for their film “Free Solo” — tell the stories of the skilled divers who worked to save a dozen young Thai soccer players trapped in a flooded Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the summer of 2018. The rescue operation drew volunteers from around the world and was covered in-depth by the broadcast and print media. Vasarhelyi and Chin incorporate some of that coverage into “The Rescue,” alongside new interviews with the rescue team, for a fuller view into what happened. But their primary focus is on what the divers experienced as they tried to puzzle out how to navigate through underground passages and how to extract survivors. The P.O.V. footage the divers shot themselves is often harrowing, capturing the claustrophobic pressure and the sense of panic that sets in when the waters rise.
‘The Book of Boba Fett’
Starts streaming: Dec. 29
There are no new “The Mandalorian” episodes until 2022, so fans of the “Star Wars” universe’s bounty-hunter subculture will have to rely on this spinoff series to tide them over. Temuera Morrison reprises his role as Boba Fett, a storied mercenary who, alongside his colleague Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), comes out of hiding and attempts to reestablish himself as someone to be feared and respected in the criminal underworld. A lot of the “Mandalorian” creative team also worked on “The Book of Boba Fett,” as did some of the supporting cast. This promises to be another action-packed throwback adventure series, exploring the difficult lives and the complicated ethical codes of characters whose jobs demand danger and violence.
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
“Welcome to Earth”
“Foodtastic,” Season 1
“Arendelle Castle Yule Log: Cut Paper Edition”
‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ Season 15
Starts streaming: Dec. 2
The longest-running sitcom in television history returns for a new season. As usual, it will combine the show’s lowlife high jinks with some episodes that directly engage with what’s going on in the world today. For example, the season’s first episode is about how the gang at Paddy’s Pub — Mac, Charlie, Dennis, Dee and Frank — try to make money off the pandemic. And episode two comments on the sometimes reckless political incorrectness of some older “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” jokes. The series continues on from there, filtering reality through the skewed perspective of characters who hardly every change, even as society keeps shifting all around them.
“Candified: Home for the Holidays,” Season 1
“Godfather of Harlem,” Season 1
“The New York Times Presents: To Live and Die in Alabama”
“PEN15,” Season 2, Part 2
“Trolls: Holiday in Harmony”
“Bloods,” Season 1
“Creamerie,” Season 1
“Crossing Swords,” Season 2
“Dragons: The Nine Realms” Season 1
“Letterkenny” Season 10
‘Being the Ricardos’
Starts streaming: Dec. 21
The writer-director Aaron Sorkin follows up his American history lesson “The Trial of the Chicago 7” with another look back into our cultural past, this time exploring the world of television in its infancy as a mass medium. In “Being the Ricardos,” Nicole Kidman plays Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem plays Desi Arnaz during one week of production on the groundbreaking 1950s sitcom “I Love Lucy.” The setup frames a larger study of the celebrity couple’s tumultuous romantic, creative and business partnership. Expect to hear plenty of Sorkin’s rapid-fire dialogue, applied to a backstage melodrama with echoes of his TV series “Sports Night” and “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”
“The Expanse,” Season 6
“Listening to Kenny G”
Starts streaming: Dec. 2
The “Music Box” docuseries debuts three new films on HBO this month, including “Mr. Saturday Night” (about the swaggering industry impresario Robert Stigwood) and “Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss” (about the rapper’s short life and influential career). But the movie likely to draw the most attention is Penny Lane’s slyly provocative “Listening to Kenny G.” This comprehensive biography of the wildly successful and deeply divisive pop-jazz saxophonist Kenneth Gorelick — made with his full participation — doubles as a sincere consideration of why some people love Kenny G’s music and why some think it is pandering schmaltz. Gorelick is a disarming interview subject, willing to defend himself but seemingly unconcerned about his critical reputation. It’s the critics featured in the documentary that add the most, as they wrestle honestly with the long-term effects — positive and negative — of middle-of-the-road popular music.
“The Slow Hustle”
“And Just Like That …”
“Mr. Saturday Night”
“Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street”
“Finding Magic Mike”
“Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss”
“The Matrix Resurrections”
Starts streaming: Dec. 19
Given that the modern western drama “Yellowstone” is one of the most-watched series on cable and streaming right now, it was probably inevitable that Paramount and the show’s creator, Taylor Sheridan, would try to expand the franchise. Sheridan — an accomplished writer, director and producer whose credits include the likes of “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water” — ventures back to the late 19th century to follow a grizzled adventurer (played by Sam Elliott) as he helps a pioneer couple (played by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill) find their way to Montana. There, they’ll establish the Dutton ranch that is the main setting of “Yellowstone” — though not without plenty of the obstacles and soul-searching that make the parent show so compelling.
“Queen of the Universe”
“Reno 911: The Hunt for QAnon”
Starts streaming: Dec. 2
The team behind the heartwarming reality competition show “Making It” offers as unique twist on the bake-off, in a series in which two-person teams cook in a homey kitchen and try to impress a judging panel of four opinionated grandmas. Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg are the “Baking It” hosts, serving up playful banter and earnest support as contestants produce creative and delicious treats. The drama level is kept purposefully low, leaving room for lots of good holiday vibes.
Starts streaming: Dec. 16
The comedian Will Forte and the “Saturday Night Live” writer-directors Jorma Taccone and John Solomon introduced the resourceful but easily distracted special agent MacGruber (played by Forte) in a series of “SNL” sketches that began in 2007. They spun the character off into a strange 2010 movie that has a fiercely devoted cult of fans; now they’re bringing MacGruber back to TV as a serialized action-adventure spoof, with the hero returning to work after a decade in prison. Kristen Wiig comes back as the superspy’s sidekick, for straight-faced, absurdist riffs on over-the-top ’80s and ’90s international thrillers.
“Siwas Dance Pop Revolution”
“The Housewives of the North Pole”
Not sure what to watch next? We can help.